Piikani Top Knot
Piikani Top Knot is a portrait of a Piikani Blackfoot warrior. His traditional top knot stands in strong contrast to his trade shirt and vest.
The top knot atop his head is considered a symbol of high status–you wouldn’t have seen a young man with a top knot this substantial. They were reserved for those who had achieved great tasks or had some wars behind him. Notice, too, his red warpaint.
He wears a button-up shirt, a difficult-to-acquire piece that he could have acquired through trade or war. His necklace features two large shells on either sides, with numerous strands of shell beads. Those items were highly sought after at the time, especially the trade shirt.
This painting was inspired by several George Catlin water colors, as well as an Edward Curtis photo of a Blackfeet man with a large top knot (although in the photo his top knot is braided).